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Rio 2016 weaker without Russia – Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says medals won at Rio 2016 will be devalued by the banning of Russian competitors.

There have been 108 Russians banned from next month’s Olympics so far, including 67 out of 68 from the athletics team.

Putin said there was a “deliberate campaign targeting our athletes”.

“The other sportsmen understand that the quality of their medals will be different,” he told the Russian Olympic team at the Kremlin in Moscow.

Putin, who said the Games would be “less of a spectacle” as a result of the bans, said the “campaign” he alleged “was characterised by so-called double standards and opted for the idea of collective responsibility, which is not compatible with sport, justice in general, or the basic norms of law”.

Russia’s fencing, volleyball and triathlon squads are the latest teams to have been cleared to compete at the Rio Games, which begin on 5 August.

Governing bodies are making rulings on whether Russian athletes can take part following the damning World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) report into state-sponsored doping in the country.

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